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Indian Minister: Israeli Tech Boosts Our Agricultural Output

With its water and agricultural technology, Israel has the “the kind of model we are striving to achieve,” Davendra Fadnavis, chief minister of the Indian state of Maharashtra, told The Times of Israel in an interview Thursday.

India, said Fadnavis, had several major agricultural challenges that Israel was helping the country with. Although his state, Maharashtra, is one of India’s most urban – nearly half its 110 million people live in cities like Mumbai, Pune, and other cities, and the state is one of India’s wealthiest and best developed areas – half the population lives on farms, many of which operate as they did for hundreds of years. So despite the high level of urbanization in his state, said Fadnavis, there is still a great need for the agricultural technology Israel can provide.

“We use technology to provide moisture security and optimize water allocation, to have more ‘crop per drop,’ maximizing the use of water resources to save as much as possible, and use what we save in as intelligent and productive a manner as possible.” Drip-irrigation technology from companies like NaanDanJain and Netafim – which is also very active in India – are a big part of that, and Fadnavis would like to see much more usage of drip-irrigation in India. “In Maharashtra, we currently use drip-irrigation on two million of the 20 million hectares of land used for agriculture, and we plan to expand that to 5 million over the next several years.” …

Most crucial for Indian farmers, though, is finding and adopting post-harvest technologies – systems that allow farmers to extend the life of their crops, enabling them to bring their produce to market.

In addition to leading the world in irrigation technology, Israel companies have developed techniques to extend the shelf life of produce once it has been harvested.

Fadnavis summed up his assessment of Israel’s potential boost to India’s agriculture by noting that Israeli farmers have “one of the highest ‘crop per drop’ ratios in the world….That’s the kind of model we are striving to achieve. Israel has shown the way in agricultural technology, and we are looking to Israel for help in solving our problems.”

[Photo: IsraeliPM / YouTube ]